Monday, July 28, 2003

Debate over the release of photos and videos of the Hussein corpses: The debate is skewed, and does not address the fundamentals. The issue is, whether the deaths of the brothers is confirmed; and the manner and circumstances of their deaths. To this end access to the corpses by independent journalists and forensic examiners is to be encouraged, at length and in as much detail as is required. The general publication, however, of autopsy, morgue and other such photos is another matter. Is that necessary, or is it gangland style triumphalism?

In the case of a conventional murder, in the interests of justice the public authorities and the public itself in open court is entitled to all the evidence and facts surrounding the case. But in the interests of good taste, is it necessary that gory morgue photos of the deceased be published in the daily newspapers? What would the relatives think of that, whether the person killed be innocent or criminals? What does it say about the mentality of those who are the killers?

It is clear the decision to publish the photos was made at a high level and implemented throughout the media system.

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